There’s a New No. 1 in Late-Night, as Leno’s ‘Tonight Show’ Is Unseated in 18-49 Demo for First Time in 10 Years–But It’s Not Letterman Who Knocked Off the Perennial King (and No, It’s Not Conan, Either)

Jul 1, 2011  •  Post A Comment

After drawing the most viewers in the key 18-49 demo for 40 consecutive quarters, Jay Leno’s "Tonight Show" on NBC lost its crown in the second quarter, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Jon Stewart’s "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central came in at No. 1 for the quarter, averaging 1.295 million viewers 18 to 49 years old, while "The Tonight Show" drew 1.292 million viewers in the age group.

Traditional Leno rival David Letterman averaged 1.096 million viewers in the 18-49 demo for CBS’s “Late Show.”

Overall, "The Daily Show" drew 9% more viewers during the quarter compared with a year earlier, giving the Comedy Central program an average of 2.2 million total viewers. "The Colbert Report," also on Comedy Central, averaged 1.5 million total viewers, a gain of 6%, the story notes.


  1. The point f this story eludes me. THE DAILY SHOW airs at 11 p,. It is over by the time Leno and Letterman come on. It does not directly compete with them. The viewership comparison is therefore immaterial and makes no sense.

  2. Not that they directly compete (on at the same time) but that they are competing in their categories. Basically who had the most viewers for a “late night” show.

  3. This is complete and utter PR bullshit. Jay and Dave compete directly against each other and start one half hour later than the “Daily Show,” so of course there are more people using television. This is disengenuous and a stretch of the truth. What it does show however in a convuluted way is how Dave and Jay are trending older…

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